Deprived schools where children fight for chairs supported by World Vision Ghana

World Vision Ghana's Cluster Programmes Manager, Robert Pwazaga, presents the dual desks to the GES.

A donation of writing desks by the World Vision Ghana (WVG) to some deprived state-owned schools in the Kassena-Nankana West District has raised hopes that the familiar story of the schools’ performance at the yearly Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) will change for the better.

School authorities as well as schoolchildren say there is a strong link between furniture deficit and poor academic grades in that part of the Upper East Region. There is also an everyday fight for chairs among the schoolchildren owing to the chronic furniture shortage, Starr News learns.

“In fact, my pupils will be very happy seeing the furniture because they have been lying on their stomachs for a very long time. As they lie on their stomachs, before you realise, they fall asleep and leave the work. But with this, they will write well and learn without getting tired. It will also improve attendance because, as they are lying on their stomachs, a child will come for a week but the next week the child is sick.

“The lack of furniture has affected BECE results because we the primary schools feed the Junior High Schools. If the child is not comfortable in class, the child will not understand what you teach. With the furniture, the BECE performance will improve,” noted the head-teacher of the Dazongo Primary School, Gifty Christo, when the humanitarian organisation presented 300 dual desks to six basic schools in the district.

Desks designed for just two people, according to the schoolchildren present at the donation ceremony, are being shared by three individuals at the deprived schools. The accompanying discomfort, so say the children, causes gross loss of concentration in class.

The World Vision Ghana handed over the furniture at Sirigu

“We usually fight for chairs to sit at our school,” Bintu Aluo, a BECE candidate from the Dazongo Junior High School, told Starr News. “And those who lose the fight would have to sit on the floor. At times, we feel severe pains in our backs for lack of furniture to sit and write,” she added.

Inadequate furniture a challenge in schools— World Vision Ghana

The beneficiary public schools include Kurugu Primary School, Kaasi Primary School, Mirigu Primary School, Nabango Primary School, Dazongo Primary School and Sirigu Primary B School.

“One of our key technical programmes that we implement in the Kassena-Nankana West District is reading improvement in primary education. The goal of this project is to ensure that children are able to read with comprehension by completion of grade two. However, our monitoring visits over the years have revealed that there are several challenges facing schools, that is preventing effective teaching and learning. And one of the challenges is inadequate furniture in some of the schools.

“Throughout our monitoring, we’ve realised that in some schools, children have to resort to sitting on the floor during teaching and learning. As a result of this challenge, World Vision and partners have come together to support some schools with a total of 300 dual writing desks to improve teaching and learning in those schools. World Vision is dedicated to working with communities, especially children and the most vulnerable, to bring about human transformation. World Vision has operated in Ghana since 1979 and in the Kassena-Nankana West District since 2008,” the organisation’s Cluster Programmes Manager, Robert Pwazaga, remarked as he handed over the desks at Sirigu to officials from the Ghana Education Service (GES).

Receiving the furniture, said to be worth US$10,000 or Gh¢57,700, as Assistant Director in charge of Planning and Statistics at the Kassena-Nankana District Education Directorate, Isaac Pabia, thanked the WVG for “the numerous interventions in the educational sector” in the district.

“You have been a good partner we’ve been working with for some time now. And one of the key challenges we have in the district is furniture, as your monitoring portrays. And today you’ve come in to help us alleviate that suffering our children are going through. We are so glad and hope that as time goes on we will be receiving more of this support from you.

“I also want to take this opportunity to entreat the heads of the beneficiary schools to take good care of the furniture so that it will last long for us. When you go round and see children writing on the floor, it’s heartbreaking. So, if World Vision is coming in to support us, I think the best we can do in return is to take good care of what they have given us,” he said to a round of applause from the relieved-looking schoolchildren and school authorities present.

By Edward Adeti, Upper East Region, Daily Mail GH

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